I was recently contacted by a personal finance columnist for Reuters who was doing a piece on the motivations and emotions of folks who have no interest in buying a home.
That sounded like an interesting topic and premise, so I immediately took it to my research team: my Facebook buddies, friends, some relatives, and a few business colleagues who I don’t mind bothering.
I received a fascinating spectrum of responses to this question, and thought might be interesting to share with you, to see if it resonates with your experience or stimulates other thoughts.
An esteemed financial professional: left New Orleans after Katrina, and was forced into the rental market. He advises rental if short term—less than five years—because of not recovering the transaction costs.
A business owner from the UK: renting in the UK for eight years; if anything goes wrong, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to fix it.
My mid-20’s Princeton graduate (OK, stepdaughter) in LA: although monthly rent in LA is equal to a mortgage in other locations, a house is desirable, but not yet attainable, because they are too expensive.
A woman in her early 30’s: owned two homes, but because of divorce and illness does not want to commit to home ownership.
An assortment of reasons were submitted that mitigate against purchase of a home: job requiring mobility as often as every two years; lack of credit rating; unable to come up with the down payment; career changes mean buying a home is an emotional burden and anchor that would interfere with job mobility; preference to expand a social circle rather than mow grass.
Some mobile career professionals are not sure where to settle down, and are not ready for the commitment, investment, and caretaking of owning a property.
Some on my research team hinted at the experiences that get repeated consciously or unconsciously, such as those who come from a family of home ownership who automatically decide to repeat the pattern. Or those who grew up with one home during the week and a different home on the weekend because of divorced parents may have a different mindset and not commit to a single dwelling.
I’m grateful to all those who responded, and I am interested in further comments and discussion from my blog readers.